Watson Tone Analyzer : #IBM

A cognitive computing experiment to analyze an audience's collective tone of voice

What is it?

In this fun cognitive computing experiment, Watson is analyzing the tone of voice of your collective tweets.

#IBM 'n' see pin change color!

The pin was designed by artist Leslie Birch and IBM Bluemix Technical Evangelist JeanCarl Bisson.

IBM Watson Tone Analyzer helps us analyze email messages, presentations, tweets, and other communications before sending them out. It examines how others might perceive our tone in written messages and helps us understand the potential impact of our words. To try out the Tone Analyzer yourself and to view other Cognitive Computing services, click here.


An Arduino compatible microcontroller with WiFi capability and a RGB LED shield display the aggregated statistics. The NeoPixel ring is connected to Watson IoT Platform, receiving updated stats each minute. The 24 LEDs, illuminated with a tiny Lithium Polymer battery mounted on the back, change colors to represent the tone of the tweets.

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How does it work ?

The IBM Watson Tone Analyzer Service uses linguistic analysis to detect three types of tones from written text: Emotions, Social Tendencies, and Writing Style. In this demo, we use identified social tones that infer the personality of the individual reflected in tweets around a search query.

Tone Analyzer currently infers five different social tones: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Emotional Range (alternatively Neuroticism). These five social tones are adopted from the Big-five personality model.

  • Agreeableness is a person's tendency to be compassionate and cooperative toward others.
  • Conscientiousness is a person's tendency to act in an organized or thoughtful way.
  • Extraversion is a person's tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others.
  • Emotional Range, also referred to as Neuroticism or Natural Reactions, is the extent to which a person's emotions are sensitive to the individual's environment.
  • Openness, or Open to Experience, is the extent to which a person is open to experiencing a variety of activities.

Each tweet is analyzed individually and categorized with the tone that ranks highest. The tweet is then aggregated together with others that share the same tone.


Node-RED provides a browser-based flow editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using the wide range nodes in the palette. Flows can be then deployed to the runtime in a single-click. Using IBM Watson's Tone Analyzer, tweets are processed for prominent tone and aggregated every minute.

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